Campaign of the Month: November 2007
Races and Cultures
The world of Evidia is rife with diversity and culture, as any world as old as she would be. Perhaps due to magic, the unknown, or some other influence yet undiscovered by man, the races of the planet are varied and sometimes frighteningly different. Despite their differences, however, there is one thing all peoples have in common. The essence of the soul.
The following is a breakdown of the most prevalent peoples found in Bodhisattva Complex.
Humans: The most prevalent race in the world, humans comprise the majority of all continents’ populations and are responsible for a large portion of the planet’s growth.
Humans are highly adaptable, but fickle in terms of personality and motivation. This of course comes as no surprise, given their position. Most other races still hold some sort of enmity towards humankind for the crimes they imagine the race has committed over the centuries. Rakshasa in particular are deeply angered by humans, to the point of seeking out and killing them openly.
Rakshasa: A race of demons living in the abandoned places of the world. Rakshasa resemble anthropomorphic cats, being large and muscular in stature but surprisingly agile due to this biological makeup. They can be determined from other demi-humans by their hands which, while still consisting of four digits and an opposable thumb, face out from the body rather than in toward it. Despite this strange feature, Rakshasa wielding their favored weapons (scimitar, scythe, kukri) are to be feared for their nigh insane skill in the art of the assassin.
Rakshasa are an old race and a fearsome one. They see humans as meat to be slaughtered whenever their bloodlust finds need for release, and all other races are simply of little consequence. The naga are the only race to command a semblance of respect in the rakshasa, but this is only because the old ones have far greater magicks at their command.
Most rakshasa dwell in abandoned lands such as Morose and the outer reaches of the Shura continent. Their leader, Ravana, has all but officially claimed these lands as his own, going so far as to bring census takers’ heads to the door of the nearest tribunal in show of power.
Rakshasa in general lean very heavily toward evil attitudes and activities; being demons, their hearts are attuned to such things very finely. There are some pockets of rakshasa society, however, who see the world differently and work alongside the other races, even if it is begrudgingly. These rakshasa, due to environmental changes and genetic mixing with other races, display much lighter fur than the typical rakshasa’s blue-black sable coat.
The language of the rakshasa is very beautiful for originating with such a loathsome race. Sounding very Germanic, it is punctuated with lolls of the tongue and long-held annunciation on the last syllable of every word ending a sentence. Rakshasa speak half with their tongues and half with their hands in a strange mixture of spoken and sign language, probably developed alongside the demons’ strange carpal anatomy.Racial Features
- +2 Charisma, -2 Wisdom. Rakshasa have strong, sometimes overwhelming force of personality, but they lack emotional depth.
- A rakshasa’s creature type is native outsider.
- Base land speed: 40ft
- Rakshasa have use of the spell-like ability Alter Self a number of times per day equal to their Intelligence or Wisdom modifier, whichever is higher.
- Starting languages: Dharmic, Rakshasa
- Favored weapons. A rakshasa is treated as having the Weapon Focus feat for scimitars, scythes, and kukri.
- +4 racial bonus to all Dexterity-based skill checks.
- Level adjustment +2
Naga: An old, wise race bearing the knowledge of the ages, the Naga are very private and highly suspicious of other races. This suspicion is born not of a misguided fear or jealousy such as that of human prejudice, but rather comes from a place of consideration and concern for the repercussions of knowledge.
Naga are ancient demi-humans created by the snake god Ananta before she abandoned them before recorded time. As such, their lower halfs are those of serpents while their upper bodies are entirely human. They wear elaborate wrappings consisting of loose-fitting bolts of silken cloth and carry ash-hewn bows or walking sticks. Naga are distinguished and patient, given to deep thought and contemplation. when dealing with other races they tend to be very kind and fiercely observant, wishing to learn as much from their subjects as those people might learn from them.
Naga society demands that every member become either a priest or a warrior at some point in his life. Naga priests are highly revered as the knowledge-givers of their people, spreading the word of Ananta before her fall and teaching all others the ways of white magic and survival in the lightless underground. Naga warriors are fierce and unyielding, fighting in phalanxes with long spears and round shields hard as diamond, forged from their own shed scales. No matter the position in society, every naga must contribute to the community by planting and harvesting crops, gathering food and water, or building houses and temples in which to live and worship.
Naga language is soft but stilted, consisting of small hisses and clicks of the tongue. It shares a syntax with Dharmic, the common language of the world, but deviates generously in terms of pronunciation and syllabic timing. Still, if one unversed in Naga were to listen well to someone speaking it, they could understand enough of the context to cmmunicate.Racial Features
- +2 Wisdom, -2 Constitution. Naga are supremely wise, but lack some of the fortitude other races possess.
- Naga are monstrous humanoid.
- Base land speed; 30ft
- Naga have use of the spell-like abilities Speak with Animals and Animal Messenger a number of times per day equal to their Wisdom modifier.
- Starting languages: Dharmic, Naga
- Favored weapons. A naga adds his Wisdom modifier to ranged attack rolls instead of his Dexterity modifier.
- +4 racial bonus to Intuition checks.
- Level adjustment +1
None have ever discovered the lair of the naga and remembered its location. It’s speculated that they keep a powerful spell over their temples and communes to force others to avoid them, and those who do not succumb have their memories of the encounter erased forever. What is known of the naga is gleaned from visits some braver members of the race have made into the human world. The naga are overseen by high priestess Omara, a beauty whose rule is one of tender control. Naga live underground in some areas, but in others they gather near desert oases or resplendant bodies of water. Their social system is loosely defined, but strict and ascetic at the same time. They see the rakshasa as children to be put in their place and reprimanded by an older, wiser parent.
Vanara: A mountainous race of demi-human primates living mostly in the southern lands of Ymur. Unlike the naga or rakshasa, the Vanara often deal with humans and other races, and as such a lot more is known about them than the more secretive peoples. Some refer to them as “highlanders,” a reference to their chosen habitat. They are a transplant from Morose, which they decided to abandon after its condition deteriorated beyond salvage.
Most vanara appear as humanoid monkey people, covered in fur everywhere but their faces, hands, and the bottoms of their feet. They all have long tails which they use to help them scale trees and mountains as well as balance over precarious footholds. The vanara wear clothing consisting of tight-fitting vests and baggy pants and sometimes wide-brimmed hats meant to cover their faces in unfriendly territory. The fur of a vanara can range in color from sable black to brilliant white, depending on the climate in which he was born and raised. It is said among the vanara that those with the whitest fur are the descendants of their greatest hero Hanuman, the prince of wind.
The vanara are as eclectic as humans when it comes to professions, hopes and dreams, and social structures. They are generally a free-willed people with a laid back attitude toward life, but there is still a history of battle in their blood, so they can be quick to anger. It is said that many years ago the vanara and rakshasa fought in a brutal war that left the old continent of Morose almost unpopulated. When pressed about this, most vanara will say that it happened because the rakshasa were simply too dangerous to let live; an attitude shared by a number of other races.Racial Features
- +2 Dexterity, -2 Intelligence. Vanara are swift and strong, but rather impulsive.
- Vanara are monstrous humanoid.
- Base land speed: 40ft
- Vanara have the Scent ability.
- Starting languages: Dharmic, Vanara
- Prehensile tail. A vanara may use his tail as a “third arm” when climbing and balancing, leaving his hands free.
- +4 racial bonus to Athletics and Acrobatics checks
- Level adjustment: +1
Vanara society is different from that of humans principally because women and men are truly equal in the eyes of the law and the monarchy. Vanara kings and queens are appointed by the people by a majority vote, and they cannot be the same gender two years in a row. This is to ensure that both male and female vanara are given a chance to represent themselves in the courts and congresses of their kingdoms. Almost all male vanara are warriors at some point in their life; whether or not they choose to make it a career is entirely up to them. There are always more vanara men and boys willing to take up a position in the local military.
The vanara language is most closely analogous to Mandarin, consisting of a basic syntax where pitch and inflection matter a great deal more than what is actually being said.
Automa: Only scant traces of the Automa race have been found in the world to date, but all people who claim to be Automa do say one thing; there are many of them. A most curious lifeform – if indeed they are lifeforms – Automa resemble living machines who think, act, and feel for themselves. In every way they resemble and relate to human beings and the other races of the world, but their mechanical makeup is unmistakeable.
Most Automa are grey in coloring, though some have been discovered in copper or jet black tones. They are for all intents and purposes robotic men and women, moving and behaving like true humans but possessing none of their actual parts; only imitations constructed of metal and rubber. Automa dress and behave colloquially in the same way as the humans around them, suggesting an adaptivity uncommon in machines.
Though none have possessed the bravery to prove it, the Automa claim that the dead continent of Morose is their original home. According to them, a great technological boon called the continent home and it was this boon that gave birth to them. All Automa claim a being known as Erex their god and master, claiming that Erex was the sole creator of their race. Whether this is true or not, none can say. Morose lies far from the civilized world and is unreachable by any means. This brings up the question of how any Automa escaped the continent.Racial Features
- +2 Constitution, -2 Charisma. Automa are exceedingly tough due to their physical makeup, but lack some of humans’ social graces.
- Living construct creature type. Automa are considered living constructs although they lack some of the template’s features. They can be healed fully by normal means and die when reduced to -10 hit points rather than simply deactivating. Automa are susceptible to critical hits and favored enemy-style attacks that target constructs.
- Base land speed: 30ft
- Atma Immunity. Automa are built in such a way that atma does not interact with them. As such, Automa cannot shape soulmelds or gain essentia, even if they take levels in a meldshaping class or take a feat that would grant them essentia. By the same token, Automa gain a +4 circumstance bonus on checks to avoid or lessen the effects of soulmelds used against them.
- Idyllic plating. Automa have a +2 natural armor bonus to AC. This bonus may be enhanced by the same methods used to enhance weapons and armor. However, Automa cannot equip the same armor that other races can. They must retain their idyllic plating or have armor custom made for them.
- Starting Languages: Dharmic, Automa.
- Level adjustment: +0